How to Chrono

01
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Introduction

© 2008 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

Paintball guns are safe and fun to play with as long as they are used correctly. One important thing to remember is that if you are shooting too fast, paintballs can leave massive welts and bruises. If you are shooting too slow, paintballs won't break on your target. Either way, it pays to step up to the chronograph and properly chrono your gun and shoot at the right speed.

02
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Prepare Your Supplies

© 2008 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

Make sure you have an accurate chronograph (either hand-held or one that sits on a base) and also make sure you have the proper tools to adjust your gun. Some guns require Allen wrenches (hex keys) to adjust velocity while others can be adjusted by hand. Familiarize yourself with the proper way to adjust your gun's pressure whether it be simply adding tension on a rear screw or adjusting the regulator's pressure.

03
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General Rules

© 2008 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

Make sure that you will be firing in a safe direction away from other players and that nothing is down field of where you will be firing. You should wear your mask whenever you are shooting your gun, including when you are chronoing. To be safe, you should never chrono your gun faster than 300 feet per second and it's a good idea to keep your velocity below 280 fps. Many fields have their own maximum velocity rules.

04
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Fire Your Gun

© 2008 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

When you first gas up your gun, whether you're using CO2 or compressed air, be sure to fire several times before you chrono a ball to insure that gun is loosened up and shooting properly. Next, fire one ball and note what speed the chronograph reads. It is usually a good idea to fire a second ball and make sure that both readings were similar before adjusting your gun. If your two shots were significantly different, you may need a better paint to barrel match on your gun, your regulator may need to be cleaned or your gun may have a different problem that you first need to fix.

05
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Adjust Your Velocity Up or Down

© 2008 David Muhlestein licensed to About.com, Inc.

If your gun is shooting to fast, either lower your regulator's pressure (if you have a regulator) or else decrease spring tension on the hammer. If your gun is shooting to slow, raise your regulator's pressure or increase the spring tension on the hammer. After you have adjusted your gun, dry fire several times before you shoot another ball. If you have an electronic gun, this may require you to disable your gun's eyes before dry firing. Reload your gun with one ball and then chrono again. Repeat this process until your gun consistently shooting at a safe speed.

06
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Notes on CO2

Due to the nature of CO2, there can be considerable change from one shot to the next due to the CO2's expansion. Rapid firing will make this situation worse because it will cause your gun to get cold which stops the CO2 from properly expanding, so be sure to fire slowly and allow your gun return to ambient temperature between each shot. If you are unable to get your gun to shoot consistently with CO2, especially if the outside temperature is 50 degrees or below, you may want to consider using compressed air.

07
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Notes on Electropneumatic Guns

Occasionally, adjusting the regulator is not enough to get electropneumatic guns to fire at a desirable speed. In this case, read your gun's manual to learn how to adjust the electronic settings on your board. Specifically, you may have to adjust the dwell (how long the solenoid is open) and the recharge rate (the minimum amount of time between shots).